Mat-Su Health Foundation Makes 10-Year Commitment To Mat-Su Trails & Parks Foundation

PRESS RELEASE from Mat-Su Health Foundation

The Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) has increased its annual grant award to the Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation to $550,000 per year for 10 years. This award doubles MSHF’s previous commitment, and it enables the Trails and Parks Foundation to increase its own grantmaking, build its capacity by hiring a development director and begin building an endowment to ensure the organization’s sustainability.

“Trails and parks are vital to the overall health of our community,” said MSHF Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Ripley. “From encouraging physical activity to bringing people together, recreation plays an important role in both our physical and mental health.” 

Stuart Leidner, executive director of the Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation, stated, “Our mission is to develop and maintain a quality trails and parks system which promotes healthy lifestyles, enriches our residents’ quality of life and provides economic value by enhancing recreation, tourism and business opportunities for all. This long-term commitment from the Mat-Su Health Foundation helps to ensure that we are able to not only continue this work, but to make more grant dollars available to organizations working to advance quality trails and parks projects throughout the community.”

The Mat-Su Health Foundation began funding the Mat-Su Parks and Trails Foundation in 2012 as a way to ensure that trails and parks projects throughout the borough were approached in a coordinated way. With this increase in funding to the Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation, the Mat-Su Health Foundation will no longer accept grant applications related to public trails or parks. Organizations seeking this type of funding will be directed to the Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation, where they will be evaluated in the context of the entire trails and parks system.

More information about the Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation, including its grant guidelines and application can be found at

About MSHF: 
Mat-Su Health Foundation is the official business name of Valley Hospital Association, Inc., which shares ownership in Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.  In this capacity, the MSHF board members and representatives actively participate in the governance of Mat-Su’s community hospital and protect the community’s interest in this important healthcare asset through board oversight.  The MSHF invests its share of Mat-Su Regional’s profits into charitable works that improve the health and wellness of Alaskans living in Mat-Su. More information is available online at